Future Students

Forum on the Judiciary Panel

Learn more about the panelists speaking at the upcoming Forum on the Judiciary event on April 13, 2016, at AACC.

Judge Mary Ellen BarberaCourt of Appeals of Maryland 

Judge Mary Ellen Barbera was born in Baltimore and received her Bachelor of Science from Towson State College, her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law and then was admitted to the Maryland Bar. She has a diverse legal background including assistant attorney general; deputy chief, Criminal Appeals Division with the Office of the Attorney General; and legal counsel for the Office of the Governor. In January 2002 she was appointed judge for the Court of Special Appeals. On Sept. 2, 2008, Barbera was appointed to the Court of Appeals. In July 2013 she was appointed as chief judge of the Court of Appeals. 

Judge Richard D. Bennett, United States District Court For the District of Maryland

Judge Bennett was born in Baltimore in 1947. He graduated from Severn School in Severna Park, Maryland in 1965 and received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969. After a period of active duty the United States Army, he achieved his J.D. in 1973 from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he served as a member of the Maryland Law Review

Judge Timothy E. Meredith, Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

Judge Meredith was born in Easton, Maryland. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in economics from Western Maryland College. He then graduated from Duke University School of Law and admitted to the Maryland Bar. In 2004 he was appointed to the Court of Special Appeals representing the Fifth Appellate Circuit. In addition to his responsibilities as a judge, he is a member of the Technology Oversight Board and has received numerous awards from the Anne Arundel Bar Association.

Judge Laura S. Kiessling, Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County

Judge Kiessling received her Bachelor's Degree from Lehigh University and her Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America. she served as an Assistant State's Attorney for Anne Arundel County where she served on the Sexual Offense and Child Abuse Trial Team, and in 2006 became a Deputy State's Attorney and Chief of the Hate Crimes Prosecution Unit. On February 19, 2010 she was appointed as an associate judge to the circuit court. In February 2015, she was appointed administrative judge of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County.

Judge John P. Morrissey, District Court of Maryland 

Judge Morrissey was born in Washington, DC and is a lifelong resident of Prince George's County. He recieved is B.B.A. at James Madison University, magna cum laude in 1986 and University of Baltimore School of Law, J.D. cum laude, 1989. He has been the Chief Judge of the District Court since June 1, 2014. He has served as member of Judicial Ethics Committee, Civil Law and Procedure Committee, State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy, Governor's Commission to Reform Maryland's Pretrial System and has served as counsel to Board of Education, Prince George's County and a former member of Peer Review Committee for Attorney Grievance Commission.

John F. Gunning, Family Law Magistrate, Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County

Magistrate Gunning received his undergraduate degree from Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania and His Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law. In his first position as an attorney with the public defender's office, he initiated the jail project, identifying cases in which the individuals were jailed solely because they could not afford small bails. The project expedited the hearings, which saved inmates unnecessary time in jail and taxpayers an estimated $150,000 annually. Gunning stayed with the Office of Public Defender for 14 years.In 2006, he was selected by the sitting judges of the Circuit Court to the position of Master in Chancery. This position was recently changed to magistrate. The magistrate hears preliminary issues in divorce and family law cases, juvenile delinquency cases and Children in Need of Assistance (CINA) cases.